Navigation Links
NUS researchers developed world's first fluorescent sensor to detect date rape drug
Date:3/28/2014

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed the world's first fluorescent sensor to identify the presence of a drug known as GHB that is commonly used to spike beverages. When the sensor is mixed with a sample of a beverage containing GHB, the mixture changes colour in less than 30 seconds, making detection of the drug fast and easy.

This simple mix-and-see discovery, led by Professor Chang Young-Tae of the Department of Chemistry at the NUS Faculty of Science, is a novel scientific breakthrough that contributes towards prevention of drug-facilitated sexual assault problems.

The findings were first published in the journal Chemical Communications earlier this year.

GHB: notorious drug used in drink spiking

Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, commonly known as GHB, is a central nervous system depressant that has been used in the medical setting as a general anaesthetic. In the 1990s, it gained notoriety as a drug allegedly used in instances of drink spiking. Today, it is one of the most commonly used date rape drugs, rendering the victim incapacitated and vulnerable to sexual assault.

As GHB is odourless, colourless and slightly salty, it is almost undetectable when mixed in a drink, thus making it desirable to sexual predators. A small amount of between two to four grams of GHB will interfere with the motor and speech control of a person, and may even induce a coma-like sleep. GHB takes effect within 15 to 30 minutes, and the effect can last for three to six hours. It is only detectable in urine six to 12 hours after ingestion.

Novel fluorescent sensor to detect GHB

Fluorescent dyes have been widely used as sensors for analytical purposes because of their high sensitivity, fast response time and technical simplicity.

Under the supervision of Prof Chang, the team of researchers, comprising Dr Zhai Duanting, a Research Fellow, Mr Xu Wang, a PhD candidate, as well as Mr Elton Tan, a recent graduate, of the Department of Chemistry at the NUS Faculty of Science, screened 5,500 dyes generated from different fluorescent scaffolds. These fluorescent scaffolds have been used to construct the Diversity Oriented Fluorescence Library (DOFL) that was developed by Prof Chang over the last decade.

The team shortlisted 17 fluorescent compounds and further tested them with a wide range of different GHB concentrations. Through this, the team identified that an orange fluorescent compound, coined GHB Orange, changes colour when it is mixed with GHB.

In order to examine the efficiency of GHB Orange, the team tested its detection capability by mixing a small amount of it with samples of various beverages, ranging from alcoholic, non-alcoholic, coloured and colourless drinks, which contain GHB. The test revealed differences in the fluorescence intensity between GHB-free and GHB-spiked beverages. For drinks that are translucent or of a light colour, such as water or vodka, the change in colour can be easily detected with the naked eye. The change in the colour of darker drinks, such as Cola and whiskey, requires the aid of additional lighting to better detect the change.

Remarkably, this detection can be done through a simple mix-and-see process, which takes less than 30 seconds.

Future plans

While GHB Orange has proven to be efficient in detecting GHB in beverages, there is a need to develop a test kit that is convenient for users to use and carry around. Prof Chang and his team intend to work with industry partners to develop a handy and cheap device for GHB detection.


'/>"/>

Contact: Carolyn Fong
carolyn@nus.edu.sg
65-651-65399
National University of Singapore
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Cancer researchers find key protein link
2. Researchers: Biomarkers predict effectiveness of radiation treatments for cancer
3. Researchers issue state-of-the-state on genetic-based testing and treatment for breast cancer
4. Researchers identify impaired new learning in persons with Parkinsons disease
5. Researchers identify potential new therapeutic target for controlling high blood sugar
6. Ottawa researchers find new pathway connected to type 2 diabetes
7. Shoulder revision repair surgery not as successful 2 years later, say researchers
8. Researchers find significant increase in painkillers prescribed to US adults in the ER
9. Dartmouth researchers develop new approach to chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatment
10. Researchers destroy cancer with cryoablation & nanoparticle-encapsulated anticancer drug
11. NYU researchers find majority of Latinas are unaware of their risk of diabetes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
NUS researchers developed world's first fluorescent sensor to detect date rape drug
(Date:1/13/2017)... Davis, California (PRWEB) , ... January 13, 2017 ... ... certain carbohydrates that raise blood sugar levels. Counting carbohydrates is as easy as ... not the only nutrient that affects blood sugar levels. Despite being sugar-free, proteins ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 13, 2017 , ... An inventor from Pahrump, Nev., used an ... "My urologist had me wear a Foley catheter and urine bag for a half year ... uncomfortable, so I decided that there should be a better way to do this." , ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... , ... January 13, 2017 , ... ... Sauna from the Finnleo factory in Cokato, MN, with the official send-off from ... and Maestro Osmo Vanska , Minnesota Orchestra’s Music Director, leading the official ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... ... January 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, ... of teaching people a way to peace, health and eternal joy. Yisrayl says he has ... peace. He adds that false accusations and persecution are nothing new in his world ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 13, 2017 , ... Sharon Kleyne, ... Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water, Global Climate Change and Your Health on Voice ... seems like we began only yesterday,” said Sharon Kleyne to her listening audience, “yet ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/13/2017)... -- This morning, Stock-Callers.com draws attention to ... at yesterday,s closing bell: Clovis Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: ... GALE ), and ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... to develop technologies and products that combat debilitating and ... use less and cleaner energy, and provide safer, cleaner ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... Concord Medical Services Holdings Limited ("Concord Medical" ... leading specialty hospital management solution provider and operator of ... in China , announced that it ... Trust Co., Ltd. ("ZRT"). The Company signed ... Taihe Healthcare Fund in October 2016. The total amount of ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... 2017  Biologics Prescribers Collaborative (BPC) applauds ... for issuing final guidance calling for distinguishable ... is an important win for patients and ... pharmacovigilance, patient safety and transparency. ... FDA, we remain concerned with "random" suffixes called for ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: